Vaccines, bacterins and adjuvants

Vaccines are defined as immunological products containing virus which may be live, modified live or inactivated, killed. Sore mouth would be an example of a live vaccine. Products made from inactivated bacteria are properly called bacterins but often referred to as vaccines. The enterotoxemia products are examples of bacterins commonly used sheep and goat production.

The more critical subject I wanted to discuss was adjuvants. Adjuvants are added to vaccines and bacterins to enhance immunity. They may and often are irritating at injection site. The amount of irritation may or may not be associated with the degree of immunity produced. The warning I have for sheep and goat people is that the use of cattle vaccines in sheep and goats may end up in death and or serious abscesses at injection site. Adjuvants designed for cattle are seldom compatible for sheep and goats.

A line of bacterins that carry a label for cattle, sheep and goats is the Vision clostridial products supplied by Merck with the adjuvant SPUR. these are very effective products and the adjuvant is less irritating than competitive products. Example would be Vision CDT. 

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About Ask-a-Vet Sheep

Veterinary services, procedures, biologicals, and drugs mentioned in this publication represent the personal opinions and clinical observations of the contributing author. They are in no way intended to be interpreted as recommendations without the consent of the producer’s own practicing Veterinarian. We strongly urge that producers establish a patient-client-veterinarian relationship that allows extra-label use when there are no drugs approved for treatment or if approved drugs are not effective. This procedure allows veterinarians to go beyond label directions when “prudent use” is necessary. The limited availability of drugs and biologics in this country is a major factor in restricting the growth of the sheep industry and allowing producers to compete in the world market place.
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